Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Real Event 2012 | Jackie's 50th Birthday Party

Guest of Honor | Jackie
Location | Private Residence
Flowers | Posh Petals
Linens | La Tavola via Pearls Events
Rentals | The Rental Company
Catering | Christine Ferris Catering
Shuttle | Premier Shuttle Service
Pearls Events Service | Event Coordination

Jackie, a former mother of the bride from 2010, contacted me earlier this year about her upcoming birthday - the big 5-0. She wasn't too excited about her birthday, but she was determined to invite her nearest & dearest to share the last evening of her 40's with her.

With her actual birthday being July 4th, we planned the celebration on the 3rd. It was a pretty darn hot Tuesday afternoon when Leah & I arrived at the cottage. It's an awesome spot that has been in the family years, with the most amazing entrance - no driveway! It's a walk-in cottage and when you take the boardwalk to the house, you feel like you're on vacation the moment you step out of your car. I can see why the entire family loves this beach house!

Leah & I arrived in the afternoon to begin setting linens before Elizabeth from Posh Petals arrived with the red flowers to really make the navy & white table linens pop. And ranunculus in JULY?!?! Elizabeth really was my go-to girl for this one!

Because of the parking constraints, we shuttled guests in, which worked really well. Appetizers from Christine Ferris Catering were ready when guests began arriving, followed by an amazing farm-to-table dinner. One thing Jackie really wanted was a Roast & Toast - and it was so much fun to hear what guests had to say - they shared stories, laughed, cried and really enjoyed this portion of the evening.

After dinner, guests enjoyed the live music, followed by a firework display complete with sparklers(!) which Leah & I passed out. With an intimate guest list, Jackie got to ring in the big 5-0 in a really fabulous way - guests did NOT want to leave!!

Jackie - I cannot thank you enough for asking me to help you with this little beach soiree. You are a wonderful client and I look forward to the next one! Cheers to the next 50! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Real Wedding 2012 | Jennifer & Stephen


Couple | Jennifer & Stephen, 6.30.12
Ceremony & Reception | Bride's grandparents' home
Ceremony Musicians | Brioso String Quartet
Gown | Vue Design
Photography | Clayton Austin Photography
Videography | Derrek Sullivan
Stationery | Lief Designs
Florist | Posh Petals
Catering | Christine Ferris Catering
Makeup | Lindsey R. Smith
Hair | Bella Vita Spa
DJ | Thunder Mountain Music
Rentals | A-1 Rent All
Vintage Furniture Rental | re:find Joy
Rehearsal Dinner | Saugatuck Brewery
Pearls Events Service | Event Planning, Design & Coordination

Jennifer and Stephen live in Australia, and while Jennifer was home for Christmas 2010(!), she made time to get her 2012 wedding planning underway. Kathy, her mother, & Jennifer arrived at my office right before Christmas and we went over lots of details to get the ball rolling. Before Jennifer returned to Australia, we met one more time to get everything in place, as the rest of our 18-month planning journey would be spent Skyping instead of in-person meetings!

Loads of planning went on between December 2010 and June 2012. Between numerous site visits to make sure the tent placement was just right, and four(!) cake tastings (in which I did not mind one bit, of course...) to mother-of-the-bride dress shopping with Kathy and hours spent managing the to-do list (and checking things off!), I was invited to be part of the entire planning process alongside Jennifer and Kathy.

And on June 30th, everything came together for one glorious day on the shores of Lake Michigan with a group of guests from all over the globe. Friends & family members arrived via shuttle to the lush green grass of the bride's grandparents' lawn. They enjoyed iced drinks in the shade before grabbing a parasol and making their way to the beach for the heartfelt ceremony officiated by Jennifer's paternal grandfather.

Jennifer gave me a hug and a giant thank you before she made her way down the 88(!) stairs to the beach for one of the most amazing processionals I've ever witnessed. We had a killer sound system, so even I could hear the ceremony at the top of the bluff; it was amazing to say the least.

Guests made their way from the beachside receiving line to cocktail hour around the backside of the house. There were appetizers and signature cocktails aplenty before guests made their way through the garden gates into the illuminated tent. We set the intimate space with two long dinner tables for their 70 guests, as well as one head table near the dance floor.

Before dinner, Jennifer & Stephen put together the most entertaining family & bridal party introductions I've ever seen. They paired everyone up and gave cheeky tidbits about each person involved in their day. It was something I will soon not forget!

One of my favorite farm-to-table caterers, Christine Ferris Catering, was on hand that evening and was completely responsible for serving the most amazing dinner for the guests. Cake was cut, coffee was out, and the newlyweds showed off their mad dance skills on the dancefloor to get the party started.

Guests stayed until the last shuttle left at 2:00 a.m. and it was a wedding day I put my heart & soul into with the clients and I am SO happy with how everything turned out. Wedding professionals know that it takes a team of people to make a day happen, and this day was like no other.

Jennifer & Stephen - I wish you both the best! Our time spent together was fabulous and I am SO thrilled your wedding day was everything you hoped it would be. Thank you for trusting me with all of the details :)

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